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The Impact of American Movies on Egyptian Cinema in 1950s and 1960s


Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/9867

The Impact of American Movies on Egyptian Cinema in 1950s and 1960s

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Title: The Impact of American Movies on Egyptian Cinema in 1950s and 1960s
Author: Abouelhassan, Radi
Advisor(s): Putnam, Walter
Committee Member(s): Lubin, Alex
Martin, Jamal
Department: University of New Mexico. Dept. of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Subject: Impact
Degree Level: Masters
Abstract: The 1952 military coup in Egypt constituted the beginning of a new era in Egypt’s history and pushed forward substantial societal, economic and political changes. These changes represent the fruits of the revolutionary regime’s pro-modernization ideology. In their search for modernity, the Egyptian elite invested in cinema as well as other forms of media and tended to follow the models of western countries. The strong relation between the Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser and the US, as well as the dominance of the American movies shown Egypt compared to other foreign cinematic industries at that time, directed the Egyptian elite toward Hollywood’s model. This paper illustrates how Egyptian cinema was influenced by Hollywood in two ways; first, how to negatively represent ethnic minorities for the sake of creating a sense of national identity for the dominant race. Second, Egyptian cinema adopted certain American social values that were presented in Hollywood movies such as challenging gender roles in the family and promoting women’s going out for work, for the sake of spreading modern ethics that would help overcome economic and social problems that Egypt was experiencing. To illustrate my argument, I have watched and theoretically analyzed over twenty Egyptian movies that were produced in the fifties and sixties and related them to western ethics that were presented in American movies.
Graduation Date: July 2009
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/9867

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